Australian pianist Marc Hannaford wants to lose himself, and if possible its within his own work under a cascade of strange difficult to comprehend piano notes. Of course musicians losing themselves in their work is nothing new, both in a ritualistic sense, in communicating with a higher power, yet also in terms of removing the ego and becoming a conduit to pure creativity. In the press release for Polar, a work for solo piano, Hannaford speaks of striving to create ‘a balance between observation and construction,’ and you can hear him twisting and turning, contorting and relaxing on the six pieces collected here. At times it’s fluid, others disjointed and chaotic, where you wonder how it’s possible to make sense of the work. Yet that seems to be precisely the point, with Hannaford including a quote from MIchael Ondaatje (The English Patient) suggesting that it takes the best art to realign and provide order to chaos.
It’s probably the kind of music that you need to sit with and let go of. As Hannaford tinkers away, dodges and weaves, forgets himself and occasionally finds himself in the rough and tumble.
Bob Baker Fish